McNeese pitching was on point for the second straight day, but also for the second consecutive outing, the bats were silent when needed the most as the Cowboys dropped a 5-2 decision to UTSA to lose the weekend series.
McNeese (2-8) will look to win Sunday’s series finale while the Roadrunners (4-5) will be going for their first weekend sweep of the season.
The Cowboys got a solid outing from starting pitcher Bryan King through two innings, but after the final out of the second, King came off the field holding his side. He did not return for the third.
“He tweaked something in his side in the second and we weren’t going to take any chances by sending him back out there,” said head coach Justin Hill. “We’re not sure how serious it is at this point.”
Also exiting the game early was left fielder and team batting leader Shane Selman, who went 1-for-2 from the plate on the day, was pinch-hit for in the sixth inning and did not return to the field for defense.
“Shane tweaked something as well. We’re not sure if he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow (Sunday).”
McNeese scored first with a run in the first inning after Selman hit a two-out single, stole second, reached third on a wild pitch, and scored off a Mitchell Rogers dribbler down the third base line for an infield single as Selman sprinted towards home for the score.
That would pretty much be all the offense the Cowboys would scrap together until the ninth inning as UTSA starting pitcher Steven Dressler cruised to improve his record to 2-1 on the season after throwing 8.2 innings and giving up two runs on six hits.
He faced the minimum batters from the third through eighth innings.
For the Cowboys’ defense, after King was relieved, Peyton McLemore entered to start the third inning and gave up two runs, one earned, in three innings in taking the loss and falling to 0-1 on the year.
UTSA trailed 1-0 going into the sixth inning when it got back-to-back singles by Jonathan Tapia and Brian Arias to lead off the inning. Trent Bowles’ attempt to move the runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt went the Roadrunners’ way when McLemore’s throw to first was off the mark and the error loaded the bases.
Tony Beam tied things up with a RBI single to score Tapia and that brought out Hill who called Grant Anderson out of the pen for relief who quickly got UTSA to hit into a 6-4-3 double play while Arias scored an unearned run to make it 2-1. Anderson got the next batter to strike out to keep the Roadrunners from putting up a big inning.
In the seventh, Ryan Stacy led off with a double down the right field line then advanced to third when Zach Rider misplayed the ball off the wall. Stacy scored on a hit by the next batter but once again, Anderson got UTSA to hit into a double play to end the threat and the Roadrunners led it 3-1.
UTSA added two more runs in the eighth and it wasn’t until the ninth when the Cowboys showed some offensive life.
Dustin Duhon got a one-out single through the left side then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mayo followed with a single to right field to score Duhon to make it 5-2. But that would the all offense McNeese would be able to put together in the attempted rally.
“We’ve got to do a better job on offense,” said Hill. “I think our pitching staff handled it really well with Bryan coming out. We have to swing the bats better and have to play better defense.”
McNeese committed five errors on the day as three of UTSA’s runs were unearned.
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